5 Ways To Turn Your Worship Band Into A Worship Team

There's no "I" in Worship Team...oh wait.

Isn't it interesting that while groups of musicians that play together are called "bands," worship bands are referred to as “teams?” I like the idea that the worship team actually functions like one. Here are 5 ways to turn your worship band into a team.

5.  Foster a nurturing and caring environment

This is a culture thing and if you don’t have it, you need to create it.  The best way to start a culture is to set the example.  Taking time to help another understand a part, setting up early so you have time to help others set up, even welcoming each team member with a smile as they walk in the door can create a nurturing and caring environment.  You may have to cut a few behaviors as well.  Lay off the sarcasm and cynicism and watch your team bloom.

Great music happens when individual instruments play as one.

4.  Set clear expectations

What time are you supposed to be there?  How long will practice take?  What level of mastery are you supposed to have of a part when you get there?  I will never forget the time my friend and I were one minute late for our college music ministry practice.  The team was already praying and when our leader finished praying he looked up and said “Jason and Jon, we start on the hour.  Don’t be late again.”  I never was.  When everyone understands the expectations, everyone can have success meeting them.

3.  Allow each individual to use his or her unique talents and abilities

This might seem like a no-brainer with musicians but we all view our talents differently.  Sure I can play guitar, but my specialization is developing guitar hooks.  Your keyboardist might have a strong feel for arrangement and chord voicing.  Your bass player or drummer might have some unique ideas for the groove.  Honor their ability by requesting their input.  Even if you end up going in a different direction, giving everyone a voice increases ownership.

2.  Create a culture of teamwork

Great music happens when individual instruments play as one.  It’s not just my part or your part, it’s our parts together.  This means listening and a willingness to defer to one another for the sake of the song.  Keep this at the front of your practice process and your band will feel a part of something greater than themselves.

Our worship teammates are our friends, not our employees. We need to treat them that way.

1.  Care for the people, not just the product

The number one thing that makes people feel part of a team is that their leader genuinely cares for them.  So how do you show you care?  You ask people how they are doing and listen when they answer.  You support them when they are struggling.  You praise them when they do well.  You give them the tools to succeed.  You don’t overschedule them.  You respect their time. Your worship teammates are your friends not employees so treat them that way.

Conclusion

Creating a team environment takes work and intentionality.  You have to commit to it but the reward of serving your congregation together is great.  What have you done to achieve a feeling of team in your environments?

Jason Houtsma serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA, Husband to Alli, Father to Bjorn and Asher, and guitar instructor for WorshipArtistry.com

5 Ways To Turn Your Worship Band Into A Worship Team

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Comments

Love this!

Great stuff here. We all have to remember even though we may not be the "LEADER" we are also responsible for the team attitude!

PREACH!

It's amazing the effect we can have simply with the way we behave ourselves.

Thankfulness

I'm 54, the old guy in the band. We started up a new Sunday night service recently with a praise band team and for the first sine since high school I'm not a loner any more. The rest of the team is young but has played together for some time in the youth ministry arena. God has long given me songs to share but I hid in the closet until about a year ago when I started attending this church.

I can not convey in words how much their acceptance means to me but even more so as wretched as I am how much our/my Father's acceptance means to me.

This is my first time here as a result of one of the guys posting this in our FB group. Clearly the tips mentioned here in this post are great so I assume the rest have and will continue to be relevant and inspiring. Thank you for them.

Being the new guy who as the old guy may not fit in perfectly but is willing to shave the square corners a bit to fit in the round hole in the name of Jesus, how to fit or merge in better. How does one fit in to this dynamic aside from talent or accomplishment on a personal level, and how do the insiders for lack of a better term draw in the oddball outsider to expand the dynamic for Christ as the main purpose of the team to start with? I'm not just asking for myself.

YHWH loves us.

Hi Daniel.

Great comment. I think worshipping from a place of gratitude is the goal of the worshipper so it's great to hear your heart on that. As far as your question, while I think it's important that the team naturally have a heart to be open to the new guy, I think it's just as important for the new guy to intentionally engage the team. I know from experience it can be intimidating for young musicians to engage a more experienced one even though he's "the oddball". I encourage you express the humility you feel and permission those around you to give you input. Simply asking if the part you're playing is the right one or if your tone is okay lets others know you are there to serve with them.

worship practice

Hey all at worship artistry.

Was wondering if you could do an article on what your team actually does at practice.

I have questions like;
a) do you practice the song, learn your parts then let the spirit guide in the service or...

b) do you practice like you were playing in the service.

I would be interested to hear your answers to these questions plus anything else you think you should/would like to share.

I've done a lot of different things depending on the team

I'll write a full post on it but one of the main things I focus on are transitions between songs. It allows flexibility within the song while keeping the team from train wrecking the transition.

It's hard for me to practice like I'm leading the actual service because I engage with the congregation so much and I can't replicate that in practice. My team knows I might do things a little differently but understanding their parts within the song and how we will transition out is helpful for everyone.

Ways To Turn Your Worship Band Into A Worship Team

Jason, I'm new to the WORSHIPARTISRY website this week to be exact and love it. This article is very much in line with the philosophy of our new worship pastor who will be joining us in the next couple of weeks so I shared it with him.

Thanks for the posting.

Art

Worship practices (trouble in leadership)

I am a high school senior and a co-leader of the worship team at my school. Myself and my fellow classmate and great friend both lead the team, I do the coordination and he leads practices. I play the cajon and he does guitar. My style of leading is running all the way through each song so we will not run into any speedbumps during worship session warm-ups and fixing the errors; although his style of leadership is "get it over with and be done quick," which I think causes practices to be inefficient and rushed and I think makes the team members insecure about their leaders. He sometimes passes the leadership toward other members which I do not think is a good policy. I want to help contribute to the structure and flow of each song but is hard to do as the cajon player, so I let my co-leader lead the practices. I want to confront him about the way practices go (being rushed and all), but he doesn't take criticism that well and says he does not like leading but volunteered for it in the first place and is comfortable with letting the rest of the band know(seems weird right?). The thing is I don't want this to cause conflict between the two of us by confronting him about it. As the co-leader, how do I go about confrontation and make practices more productive and efficient ?

Hey Josh

This is a great question that could use a more long form answer. Do you mind if we use it for Member Mail on the podcast?

Look for it

on the next podcast